The Future

Finally, the third phase wrapped up the project with the production and dissemination of curricular recommendations that capture and communicate ways in which educators can incorporate design thinking into their own MLIS courses and programs.

Based on the findings from and outcomes of this project, we recommend the following next steps for supporting increasing inclusion of design thinking, methods and principles in MLIS education.

  1. To foster collaboration, we recommend the creation of an online venue, such as a listserv or wiki, to support communication about design thinking, methods and principles among educators and library practitioners. This can also function as a connection point uniting educators and practitioners for the purpose of developing real-world projects and assignments for students.
  2. To support professional development for both educators and library practitioners, we recommend the development of a resource repository of educational materials. This may incorporate and/or build on the work of the Design Thinking for Libraries website (, which currently features inspirational examples. Ideally it would also include curricular materials, such as recommended reading lists, handouts, worksheets, activities, etc.
  3. For additional support for professional development, we recommend events and workshops at major professional venues, such as ALA conferences and the ALISE annual meeting. Online venues, such as webinars, may also be appropriate.
  4. To communicate to a wider audience about the incorporation of design in librarianship, and thus help foster the concept of multiple understandings of design and the need to move from implicit incorporation of design to the more explicit, we recommend extensive dissemination of this work and ongoing support for work that explicitly communicates to research and professional audiences about the use of design in librarianship.

We strongly believe that moving forward with these next steps will build on the foundation established by this national forum by setting significant changes in motion that can affect master’s level library education nationwide.

More research findings, forum outputs, and recommendations can be found on the Dissemination & Output page.